Many Young People Are Too Concerned With The Way They Look. What Are The Implications?

1170 words - 5 pages

Today’s society, young people are very worried about their appearance. The United Nations defines a ‘young person’ as between 15 and 24 years old. This age group has a lot of different influence from many directions that affect the way they feel about how they look, including media, peer pressure, parents and trying to fit in at school or work. Although it is good to take care of yourself and look after your appearance, many young people these days take it too far. This obsession can result in health problems, negative peer pressure and social problems, and bad behavior that brings poor choices.

One implication of too much concern for appearance with young people is that there are many ...view middle of the document...

Depression from having low self-esteem and negative body image is quite common among young people, and is very serious when it leads to things like drug abuse, self-harm and even suicide. ( McLeod, 2012 ).

Another implication of the too much concern for image among young people is the ripple effect that it makes on their surrounding friends and peers. When one person who may have been affected by their friends or the media starts behaving differently or always talking negatively about their looks, body, clothes and hair, it makes other people around him/her start to think about these things as well. And when they mentally compare themselves to others, including the person who is making negative comments, they may start to see problems in themselves that they did not notice or care about before. (Derenne, Beresin, 2006).
In this way, the concern can be spread like a disease even when this was not the intention. Researchers call this effect ‘appearance training’—when the social attitude of people around you changes or develops your personal ideas about how you should look. The more negative these ideas are, the easier it is for young people to feel bad about themselves and try harder to fit in. (Brown University. 2014)

Finally, a wider implication of the appearance obsession in young people today is that their whole lifestyle can become very limited at an age when they should be enjoying themselves the most and have fewer cares. (Fisher, 2014). First of all, their general unhappiness with themselves can cause a bad attitude toward others around them when they are keeping their worries and problems inside. Anger, frustration and sadness that they are feeling toward themselves and their own situation might make them unpleasant to be around, bringing social problems and isolation (Harter, 1993) This will only add to the possibility of depression and other health problems discussed earlier. Lack of confidence and low self-esteem can also make young people choose not to join in activities that others their age are doing, when some part of their self-image does not fit in. For example, some might avoid swimming or going to the beach, not play sports or leave from other activities simply because they do not feel comfortable with how they will look when participating. At an age where sexuality is developing, young adults who are very concerned with the way they look will sometimes stay away from all sexual contact because they are worried...

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